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An imperfect G2M checkpoint contributes to chromosome instability following irradiation of S and G2 phase cells

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posted on 2023-06-07, 14:44 authored by Andrea Krempler, Dorothee Deckbar, Penny Jeggo, Markus Lobrich
DNA double strand break (DSB) repair and checkpoint control represent two major mechanisms that function to reduce chromosomal instability following ionising irradiation (IR). Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) cells have long been known to have defective checkpoint responses. Recent studies have shown that they also have a DSB repair defect following IR raising the issue of how ATM’s repair and checkpoint functions interplay to maintain chromosomal stability. A-T and Artemis cells manifest an identical and epistatic repair defect throughout the cell cycle demonstrating that ATM’s major repair defect following IR represents Artemis-dependent end-processing. Artemis cells show efficient G2/M checkpoint induction and a prolonged arrest relative to normal cells. Following irradiation of G2 cells, this checkpoint is dependent on ATM and A-T cells fail to show checkpoint arrest. In contrast, cells irradiated during S phase initiate a G2/M checkpoint which is independent of ATM and, significantly, both Artemis and A-T cells show a prolonged arrest at the G2/M checkpoint likely reflecting their repair defect. Strikingly, the G2/M checkpoint is released before the completion of repair when approximately 10-20 DSBs remain both for S phase and G2 phase irradiated cells. This defined sensitivity level of the G2/M checkpoint explains the prolonged arrest in repair-deficient relative to normal cells and provides a conceptual framework for the co-operative phenotype between checkpoint and repair functions in maintaining chromosomal stability.


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  • Sussex Centre for Genome Damage Stability Publications

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